2 August 2010
Rocky Horror creator Richard O'Brien appears to be a step closer to his dream of retiring in New Zealand.
His immigration consultant has told The Dominion Post that his client is almost certainly getting residency after Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson pledged to make an exception to the usual criteria.
O'Brien, 68, wants to settle down in the Bay of Plenty town of Katikati, where he owns property.
"All I wanted to do is belong. It's always been home," he told the newspaper. "I feel a big swell of love and generosity of spirit all around me in New Zealand. I'm a peculiar-looking person. I'm a tranny – but I'm their tranny."
Ms Wilkinson was unable to comment on individual cases, but it's not uncommon for her to intervene in "special circumstances".
O'Brien will still have to pass police and health checks, but exceptions will be made on requirements for him to be 55 or under and have a job offer in New Zealand.
The British-born writer and actor lived in New Zealand from the age of 10 till his early 20s, mostly in Tauranga and Hamilton.
A statue of his character Riff Raff was erected in Hamilton in 2004.